(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
See other formats

Full text of "The Cambridge Natural History"

THE PANGOLINS                                 189

tures, as he does the scales of other mammals., such as those upon
the tail of ^Anomalurus, etc. This, however, is not a universal
opinion. It is true that these scales occur chiefly in the lower
forms of mammals such as those under consideration, Marsupials,
Rodents, and Insectivores ; "but the fact that the hairs are developed
' before the scales shows, or seems to show, that the former are the
older structures, and to lead to the inference that the scales of
mammals are new structures. The scattered hairs of the Pangolin
have no sebaceous glands excepting on the snout. This, again,
looks as if they were degenerate structures, and emphasises the non-
archaic character of the scales. These animals have no trace of
teeth except possibly some slight epithelial thickenings which have
been interpreted as a last remnant; the tongue is suited for the
capture of ants, and is therefore much like that of the not nearly-
related American Anteaters. The stomach is of simple form;
it is characterised by a large gland, which suggests that of the
Koala (see p. 144) ; the intestine has no caecum. Hetia mirabilia
occur on the limb arteries. The placenta is non-deciduate and
diffuse ; it is specially compared by "Weber with that of the Horse.
Considering the many adaptive resemblances between this genus
and the American Anteaters, especially in the mouth cavity, it is
remarkable that in Manis the pterygoids are not joined as they
are in MyrmecopTiaga. In spite of statements to the contrary,
it appears that there is sometimes a distinct lachrymal.
A remarkable feature in the skeleton of Manis is the
singular sternum. The xiphoid cartilage is extraordinarily
elongated into thin strips, which reach the pelvis and return.
This state of affairs is to be found in the African species only.
This structure is not comparable, as it has been said to be, with
abdominal ribs such as those of the reptile JETatteria.
These animals are mainly anteaters. The Japanese have a
curious legend as to the method adopted for the capture of ants,
which is related by Dr. Jentink in his monograph of the genus.
The Manis " erects his scales and feigns to be dead; the ants
creep between the erected scales, after which the anteater again
closes its scales and enters the water; he now again erects the
scales, the ants are set floating, and are then swallowed by the
anteaters" I The same story is related by Mr. Stanley Flower
on the authority of the Malays.
Though it seems clear that the likenesses which Manis shows